I have always thought that Hollywood is missing a chance to make millions. They just simple need to film the life of a large family, embellish the facts and you would have side splitting comedy. It gets even better when you add ‘Catholic’ and ‘Homeschooled’ and ‘Grew up on a Ranch’ to the mix. Although I am not a fan of Steve Martin’s version of Cheaper by the Dozen, It was a priceless, classic moment in a large family when he was trying most unsuccessfully to have a quiet phone conversation. Want someone to suddenly get murdered? (Well there must be a serious reason for the ear-splitting screams.) Pick up the phone.
My family is no exception to the common big family drama. Perhaps we are even a bit worse then some; with our slightly warped Western humor (My Mom still claims that is all my Dad’s fault, either that or our tiny bit of Italian heritage) There was the almost daily occurrence of someone falling asleep during the family rosary and jerking awake in time to launch into a Hail Mary when we were long done. (No, that wasn’t me either)
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I started to realize what a truly fortunate girl I was. I had a Dad and Mom who stuck together through everything, constant friends (aka siblings) we all shared the same last name, played and prayed together. Countless things I had taken for granted, I discovered most of my peers had never experienced, such as the daily living of the Catholic faith.
Our Holy Mother Church is so wise. Despite each families individual flaws she teaches us just how important family is:
‘In our time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestic. It is in the family that parents are “by word and example…the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.” It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, self-denial and active charity” Thus the home is the first school of Christian Life and “a school of human enrichment” Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous-even repeated-forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church.
We laugh together and cry together, but the important thing to remember is: it is together. May each of us continue to defend family life and make our world something beautiful for God.